Northern Stage, Newcastle

Thèâtre Sans Frontières and Northern Stage have brought an early work by Federico Garcia Lorca to a new audience, given it a simplistic narrative and set it to music. The drama is told through Commedia dell’ arte movement and gesture. This is what makes this company one of the best in the world. Telling a story (this time) purely in Spanish ( I have none, maybe if I did, the evening wouldn’t have been so enthralling! )

The cast of four, Angel Alguacil (Don Perlimplin), Belisa (Nuria Garcia), Marcolfa (Sarah Kemp) and Mother (Alicia Martel), perform with such energy and simplicity, that the language barrier transcends to a full understanding of what is happening on stage. Thanks in part to some wonderful direction by John Cobb.

Costume and setting is visually beautiful, and again takes its lead from Commedia, where the gist (Gest) of the character and setting is paramount. The references to the early life of Lorca in pre –civil war Spain sets the context for this once banned play. The simplicity of the music and singing is quite simply beautiful, oh to be en el Jardin, and in love.